Mumbai Crime: Father- son duo dupe five-star hotels by eating without paying

Updated: 14 January, 2019 17:49 IST | mid-day online desk |

Their jig was up on Saturday when the staff at Vivanta President, which is a Taj Group hotel, caught them and informed the police.

Representative image
Representative image

A father and son duo allegedly duped a number of five-star hotels in the city by eating at restaurants and then making a run for it without settling the bill. They used to pretend to be tired guests who dined without checking in. Then, eat to their heart's content at fine dining restaurants and slip away without paying.

Their jig was up on Saturday when the staff at Vivanta President, which is a Taj Group hotel, caught them and informed the police.

The accused have been arrested by the Cuffe Parade police. Two hotels, Vivanta President and Taj Mahal Palace registered a complaint against the duo. According to the police, the accused Suhas Nerlekar(57) his son Swapnil(32) have also cheated a Taj hotel in Santacruz.

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A police officer narrated their modus operandi and said that the duo would call the hotels for bookings, pretending to be businessmen or corporate employees and ask the hotel to send a car to pick them up. When they would reach the hotel, they would say that they were tired and would like to dine before check-in. They would have a hearty meal and then sneak out, without letting anybody know and without paying the bill.

As per PTI, "They used to book rooms in posh hotels after introducing themselves as businessmen. Before collecting the keys of their rooms, the two would have dinner at the hotel and then sneak away without paying the bill."

This plan continued until the staff at Vivanta President caught them on Saturday. They dined and racked a bill of Rs 8,831 and were trying to sneak out but the staff stopped them. A police officer said that at first they were politely asked to pay the bill, but the accused were trying to distract them and leave. The hotel immediately informed the cops after which the culprits were detained for inquiry. It then became clear that they had no money to pay the bill and were planning to cheat the hotel.

The duo was arrested under section 420 (cheating). The police official added, "They were detained as they did not have any money. The police were called in and we arrested the duo under section
420 (cheating) of the IPC."

The police also said that the duo had duped Taj Mahal Palace for Rs 32,000 and had managed to sneak away without paying the bill.

The police officer added, "We are checking their criminal history. We suspect that they must have targeted other hotels of the chain in the city. ThThey have similarly cheated Taj in Santacruz as well."

Taj Group representative said that they didn't want to comment at this point.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published: 14 January, 2019 17:26 IST

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